Background information | Slave Route Challenge

Cape Town was built by the slaves and apprentices from Indonesia and Malaysia and many Capetonians trace their ancestors through the slaves.  It was the dream of Farouk Meyer, founder member of the LOA Itheko Sport AC to have a race that traces the footsteps of our ancestors in the Western Cape by incorporating the BoKaap and District Six. A running event with the purpose of raising awareness about our history and our heritage and the ‘Slave Route Challenge’ was born.  The Inaugural SRC was in 2011 and 2017 sees its 7th year! This event is hosted by the LOA Itheko Sport AC, under the auspices of Western Province Athletics (WPA) and organized by Itheko Event Management.

There are 4 different events: 

  • Half Marathon (21.1km)
  • 10km Run
  • 10km Big Walk
  • 5km Fun Run / Walk.

This way we can incorporate the novice, the occasional walker, the intermediate runner and the avid runner.

The Slave Route Challenge is unique in that it is a race with a heritage and historic significance that takes you from The City Hall through District 6, Gardens, Company Gardens, Wale Street, BoKaap, Sea Point (Cape Town Stadium), Green Point (Fort Wynard), CBD and back down Darling Street into the Castle of Good Hope and the finish on the Grand Parade.

In BoKaap the runners and walkers enjoy a traditional Cape Malay Koesister! A sweet spicy delicacy! This event always happens on Mothers’ Day!

This event brings Cape Town together from all walks of life.  It truly encapsulates the spirit of Ubunthu! Runners and walkers are given the opportunity to run and walk in District Six and the BoKaap, to marvel at the beauty and cultural diversity of Cape Town, to experience the heritage sites, to run through the Castle of Good Hope, to appreciate our cultural diversity and to embrace other Capetonians.

Motivation for Route:

This route was selected because it passes heritage sites like the whipping post where slaves were whipped, the hurling swing pump where slaves had to pump water for their masters, the company bell that rang to call slaves, gallows hill where slaves were executed, the Castle where slaves were imprisoned and tortured and the slave tree plaque where slaves were sold.

In 2016 each runner / walker participated in memory of a ‘slave’ and they proudly wore the name of a slave on their chest in honour of the Slaves.